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Richmond

Community Wireless

Internet access in bulk, delivered to a location with good fiber connectivity, has become amazingly cheap. Retail Internet access remains comparatively expensive because of the costs of distributing that bandwidth to individual homes and businesses. But wireless technology has now advanced to the point where it is possible to deliver high-speed, always-on Internet connectivity without building a costly "last mile" infrastructure. Using unlicensed, freely available radio frequencies, Internet access becomes so cheap that it can be provided for free, as a public service.

We envision a partnership between municipal governments and non-profit organizations to build a city-wide, wireless backbone.

The system is based on three tiers. Tier 1 nodes will generally be located on municipal property, and be owned and operated by the Internet Archive. Tier 2 nodes will often be on private property, usually owned by private parties, but managed remotely by the Internet Archive. Tier 3 nodes are always owned by individuals, can be managed by them. They will usually come pre-configured to easy setup.

The Internet Archive provides:

  • Free and fast Internet bandwidth
  • Radios, antennas, switches and routers for tier 1 sites
  • Configuration, management and monitoring of the network
  • Training for installers
The city provides:
  • Access to roof-tops of tall buildings
  • Access to radio towers
  • Access to fiber optic cables
  • Installation of radios and antennas
Companies, non-profits or individuals become tier 2 sites by:
  • Buying an antenna kit
  • Mounting the antenna kit on their roof
End-users:
  • Depending on their distance to a tier 2 site, might need to purchase a window-mounted device (tier 3).


Tier 1: Backbone sites with fiber, city-owned

These are best located at high-elevation buildings or radio towers with good line of sight in all directions. Ideally municipal fiber is available at these sites. While direct end-user access can be provided at tier 1 sites, their main purpose is to provide point-to-multi-point access to tier 2 sites. If no fiber is available, a point-to-point link to another tier 1 sites may have to suffice. All radios on neighboring tier 1 nodes are synchronized to listen and talk in the same microsecond rhythm, which reduces interference between tier 1 sites and makes the most efficient use of unlicensed radio frequencies. Each tier 1 site can feed about 60-80 tier 2 sites.

Hardware:

  • Three to four 90- or 120-degree sector antennas, each powered by GPS-timed 5 GHz radios.
  • Three 120-degree sector antennas, each powered by 2.4 GHz radios.
  • Managed switch


Tier 2: Building without fiber, crowd-sourced

A tier 2 node is typically located on the roof of a building, which might be an apartment or office building, or even a single-family home. Unobstructed line-of-sight to a tier 1 node is required. A tier 2 node connects to a tier 1 node on 5 GHz and provides a 2.4 GHz open, directional WiFi cloud. Anyone who is close enough can connect directly to a tier 2 node with any suitable device (such as a laptop or smart phone). However, particularly indoors or at a greater distance, access through a tier 3 device is recommended. Each tier 2 site can feed about 25 tier 3 devices.

Hardware:

  • 5 GHz dish antenna with built-in radio
  • 2.4 GHz flat-panel antenna with built-in radio.


Tier 3: End-users, crowd-sourced

A tier 3 node is a single device that brings the outdoor signal from a tier 2 device inside, on a wire. Ideally, the device should be mounted on a roof, but window installation with a suction cup is an option where the signal is strong enough. Line of sight to a tier 2 site is usually required.

Hardware:

  • 2.4 GHz flat-panel antenna with built-in radio.



New PostSFLan

Subject Poster Replies Date
Richmond ap203n.archive.org access point down? joelta 1
   Re: Richmond ap203n.archive.org access point down? Ralf Muehlen 1
     Re: Richmond ap203n.archive.org access point down? joelta 0
Wifi coverage expanding. Richmond City Hall presentation CDUPONT 0
Additional dish & panels installed! CDUPONT 1
   Re: Additional dish & panels installed! brewster 0
Richmond Community Wireless Usage brewster 0
Richmond Wireless going into Atchison Village brewster 0
Volunteer(s) wanted for Wireless Internet project CDUPONT 0
Start of Community Wireless Backbone Extension in Richmond CA brewster 0
High visibility repeater now up in Richmond brewster 0
City of Richmond to look into expanding on the Archive Community network brewster 0
Dead link: SFLan Map DisabledCommunity.Org 1
   Re: Dead link: SFLan Map Dan Keller 0
Line of Site DisabledCommunity.Org 0
Citywide Community Broadband: Fast and Free talk brewster 0
Any nodes in the Excelsior district? l'etoile 0
URGENT - failed connection kingcrow 0
Large WiFi nets BruceWolfe 0
SF Mayor announced ad-based wifi system for San Francisco brewster 0
open-mesh results brewster 0
Mesh Day Live Stream rkumar 0
Dashboard for Open-Mesh this MeshDay brewster 0
Battery life for mesh day pozar 0
MeshDay Update June 11, 2008 9-5 brewster 0
How exciting jofathan 0
Internet Archive Brings Free Ultra High-Speed Internet to Public Housing brewster 0
Mesh Day 2008 brewster 0
Housing project currently using about 5Mbits/sec average brewster 0
Updated Community Wireless architecture brewster 0
just sflan.org!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! gulu6565 0
Academic Research on Wireless Community Networks C├ędric Calvignac 1
   Re: Academic Research on Wireless Community Networks greg34 0
woody.archive.org went down with most SFLan? Andrew Morrow 0
All nodes down? Andrew Morrow 0
Are BARWN and BAWUG alive? Andrew Morrow 0
SFLan made obsolete by sf.meraki.com Andrew Morrow 2
   Re: SFLan made obsolete by sf.meraki.com Ralf Muehlen 3
     Re: SFLan made obsolete by sf.meraki.com Andrew Morrow 0
     Re: SFLan made obsolete by sf.meraki.com cjp 0
     Re: SFLan made obsolete by sf.meraki.com GrampaSmitty 0
   Re: SFLan made obsolete by sf.meraki.com Dan Keller 0
Getting Started jofathan 0
Need a Node landonsf2la 1
   Re: Need a Node Paul Lindner 0
Meraki anyone? Paul Lindner 1
   Re: Meraki anyone? webdog 1
dhcp from sflan11 MichaelnSF 0
ip address and map CrateTV 1
   Re: ip address and map Ralf Muehlen 1
     Re: ip address and map GioAgain 0
Re: who wants the sflan39 hardware? kentkb 0
who wants the sflan39 hardware? steffenyount 2
   Re: who wants the sflan39 hardware? steffenyount 1
     Re: who wants the sflan39 hardware? Drew @ alamedawireless.org 0
   Re: who wants the sflan39 hardware? jasongolod 1
     Re: who wants the sflan39 hardware? steffenyount 0
Nodes in Western Addition Luxomedia 1
   Re: Nodes in Western Addition smillis 1
     Re: Nodes in Western Addition Luxomedia 1
DHCP Server Possibly Down? MichaelnSF 1
   Re: DHCP Server Possibly Down? Ralf Muehlen 1
     Re: DHCP Server Possibly Down? MichaelnSF 1
       Re: DHCP Server Possibly Down? Ralf Muehlen 1
         Re: DHCP Server Possibly Down? MichaelnSF 1
           Re: DHCP Server Possibly Down? MichaelnSF 0
Project Status ohdonger 0
Google Earthlink contract & Municipal Broadband Hearing THIS Wed 1/7 3pm PST Kimo C 0
sflan DHCP Server Down? MichaelnSF 1
   Re: sflan DHCP Server Down? Ralf Muehlen 0
whither Ralf? Dan Keller 1
   Re: whither Ralf? Ralf Muehlen 0
Technical or Political jjimm 0
Which node to use scobbydo 0
SFLAN 6 Back online LewTucker 1
   Re: SFLAN 6 Back online mgs2 0
What is up? mgs2 0
Add a node? sabron 1
   Re: Add a node? mgs2 1
     Re: Add a node? WJHalverson 1
       Re: Add a node? mgs2 1
         Re: Add a node? WJHalverson 1
           Re: Add a node? mgs2 1
             Re: Add a node? WJHalverson 0
Does anybody know of any valid node number in SF? heroesvoice 0
SF Panhandle -Golden Gate park share the WiFi 23joecool 1
   Re: SF Panhandle -Golden Gate park share the WiFi BruceWolfe 0
anybody there? Tom McIntyre 1
   Re: anybody there? Tom McIntyre 0
What are the node numbers in the Marina? lolabug 0
Alternative to AT&T GrnDragn 0
I want in captaingeek 1
   Re: I want in captaingeek 0
Connecting to sflan51 sfelf 0
I can't figure out your site design.. The Architects Father 2
   Re: I can't figure out your site design.. Diana Hamilton 0
   Re: I can't figure out your site design.. NobbyClarke 2
     Re: I can't figure out your site design.. The Architects Father 0
     Getting an IP Address teeyah 0
16th and Folsom nazcalito 0
I want to volunteer as a node on SFLAN in Inner Sunset/Golden Gate Height bguan 0
19th Avenue between Quintara and Rivera Street buloguy23 0
I'm interested in setting up a site in the Portola District in SF TevieSF 0
Looking for a replacement site for sflan11 Ralf Muehlen 1
   Re: Looking for a replacement site for sflan11 Tom McIntyre 0
SFLAN11 has been down for a couple weeks now? Alex Apke 0
sflan 18 birdseyeview 0

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